07 Jan The Role of Physical Therapy in Pain Management
If you are battling constant pain, the thought of moving around may make you upset. However, physical therapy can greatly improve your chronic pain symptoms while making you more flexible and stronger. In addition to conditioning, strengthening, and stretching the body structures, San Diego physical therapists use a variety of treatments to alleviate pain, such as ultrasound, massage, ice packs, and electrical stimulation.
How does physical therapy help chronic pain?
Most people who suffer with chronic pain have lost some of the physical conditioning they had before the pain symptoms began. The physical therapist in San Diego works with the patient to promote healing, restore function, and relieve pain. After completing physical therapy, many people regain their ability to participate in moderate physical activity, and quality of life improves.
What therapies will you receive through physical therapy?
Physical therapy involves the use of many techniques to improve mobility and alleviate pain. These include:
- Exercises – Stretching and strengthening exercises are used along with low-impact aerobic conditioning activities.
- Education – The therapist will teach you about your condition, give you advice on improving posture, and discuss ways for you to manage pain.
- Manual therapies – Along with exercise, the therapist will use certain movements to improve your joint mobility. Massage is also used to relieve tight muscles and pain.
- Electrical stimulation – A unit that delivers a gentle stream of electric current is a transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS). This helps the nervous system become less sensitive to pain signals.
- Hot and cold therapies – Hot packs are used to deliver heat to sore body tissues. Cold packs and ice baths will reduce swelling and the pain associated with inflammation.
- Motor imagery – This is a technique where you visualize and imagine movement before the actual real movements. The therapist teaches you to use your mind to regain motor control. With this therapy, virtual reality technology or mirrors are used.
- Deep tissue laser – This device works at the cellular level to ease pain associated with injuries, and tendonitis. When the light interacts with the damaged tissues, inflammation is reduced and nerve conduction is slowed down. Patients who receive deep tissue laser therapy report instant pain relief and improved healing.
- Ultrasound – Sound waves will generate heat within the body when the probe is moved along the body region in a circular motion. The heat improves blood flow and circulation, and it will loosen up tissues so they are more flexible.
- Phonophoresis – This anti-inflammatory treatment uses ultrasound to pass medication through the skin and into the injured body region. This therapy is used to alleviate inflammation in tendons, muscles, ligaments, and other body tissues.
- Iontophoresis – This is a technique for delivering medication using electrical current. The current transfers compounds through the skin and to the blood stream. This medication therapy will help improve muscle spasms, edema, bone spurs, fungal infections, scars, wounds, and inflammation.
- Kinesio taping – This taping technique reduces inflammation and pain, promotes tissue and structure healing, relaxes overused muscles, and facilitates movement of muscles. This allows for joint stabilization, alignment, and support.
- Mechanical traction – This is a non-surgical procedure used for relieving pain of the legs, arms, low back, and neck. Gentle traction force reduces disc pressure, which improves circulation and fluid exchange inside the discs.
- Fluidiotherapy – Dry, heated air is used to produce steam with fluidiotherapy. This technique performs massage, sensory stimulation, pressure oscillations, and levitation. Fluidized therapy can be used to reduce swelling, pain, and muscle spasms.
Sorrento Valley Pain Relief offers physical therapy, acupuncture, chiropractic and physical medicine treatment. Pain relief is achieved with the Board Certified, highly experienced providers. Call us today!